RS300 Rooster National Tour at Stewartby WSC 6-7 August 2022
The lead up to the Stewartby RS300 open meeting was not looking good - the forecast was very light. But six boats had entered and event host Richard Hargreaves was cooking a curry so we were on.
On arrival it really did not look too bad. A light but steady breeze was crossing the lake so we all got ready and headed out to the start, by which time the wind had got bored and had gone someplace else. Leaving us with puffs that could come from any direction.
Local Gareth Farr got off to a flyer in the first race and disappeared. Somehow, he got all the gusts. Rob Ford, Tom Moore and Richard traded places around the course as they gained or lost the fickle breeze but the racing was close.
The second race started the game (for the team on the committee boat) of “try and set the course to match the wind” and get a race started before it disappeared or moved 90 degrees again. The race team did a sterling job to try and get at least a beat on the first leg. Local knowledge proved invaluable as Richard and Gareth almost lapped the rest of the fleet.
The third race did not go well for Gareth as cries of pain were heard across the lake. An old injury did not like being scrunched up in the bottom of the boat so we lost the leader of the series. We hope you’re all fixed up now. The rest of us carried on dealing with 180-degree wind shifts and going from a mirror surface to full-on hiking and back all within a few boat lengths.
The fourth race was squeezed in to make the best of what we had, as Sunday’s forecast was no better. Tom finally managed to get his status as “light weight” to pay and left the fleet behind.
Jack was out on the RS300 Class Association boat for his first RS300 sail and did very well in the problematic conditions having a good battle with Cheryl Wood.
In the evening, drinks of various flavours flowed and Richard served up an exceptional curry.
When we woke the next morning, the lake could not have been any smoother. We had another great feed from Richard: a full English with all the trimmings, whilst watching the lake and the very still windmill blades next to it and hoping something would develop.
With a light breeze that agonisingly slowly crossed the water, we all rigged up and went out hoping to get the last two races in. By the time we had got to the committee boat the wind was spinning from all points of the compass. We gave it ten minutes to see what would happen. At this point the fleet made the unanimous decision to call it quits and drift home. Richard was crowned the winner followed by Tom, Rob, Gareth, Jack Pasquett and Cheryl.
Thanks to Richard and Stewartby WSC for hosting, the race team for getting us round and everyone else that helped at the club. Thanks to our RS300 National Tour sponsors Rooster.
Report by Rob Ford